Blathr Wayne Lorentz

What is Blathr?
Showing blathrs with the tag “COVID-19.”

Thanks, politicians

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 Alive 18,789 days

Obituary from the October 5, 2022 Houston Chronicle

This is a clipping of an obituary that was in the newspaper this morning.

Amazingly, I still see people on the internet who claim that COVID-19 is only dangerous to the elderly, and theyʼve lived long enough and should vacate their homes to make way for new generations.

Selfishness and stupidity seem to go hand-in-hand.

❖ ❖ ❖

Thanks for nothing

Thursday, September 29th, 2022 Alive 18,783 days

Apple Maps showing me that the local American Express office is permanently closed

Dear Apple Maps,

Please stop showing me places that are “permanently closed.” I know the pandemic ruined everything. Youʼre not helping me find whatʼs left.

❖ ❖ ❖

A shot in the dark

Monday, September 27th, 2021 Alive 18,416 days

CVS #1 today: No, you canʼt have a COVID shot.

CVS #2 today: No, you canʼt have a COVID shot.

Walgreens: Here, have a COVID shot! And a coupon!

I donʼt think CVS understands the goals of the governmentʼs COVID vaccination program.

❖ ❖ ❖

Friday, September 10th, 2021 Alive 18,399 days

Itʼs funny how a bunch of people who arenʼt even smart enough to get vaccinated are suddenly lecturing everyone else, like theyʼre a bunch of Constitutional scholars.

❖ ❖ ❖

Ignorance is bliss

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 Alive 18,369 days

An ominous message from iOS

This is what happens when you move from a state with a COVID notification app to a state that lacks a COVID notification app.

❖ ❖ ❖

Signs of the times

Sunday, August 8th, 2021 Alive 18,366 days

Every electronic road sign in Nevada: “Keep Vegas open, get your shots now!”

Every electronic road sign in Arizona: “6.8 million doses administered so far. Get yours!”

Every electronic road sign in New Mexico: “Protect your family. Get your free COVID vaccine.”

Every electronic road sign in Texas: “Buckle up for safety!”

❖ ❖ ❖

Spidey sense

Friday, May 28th, 2021 Alive 18,294 days

A male black widow spider trying to sell me solar panels

I went for a walk to Starbucks today. No more masks. Not even signs for masks. Clearly there is a hazard, since the employees are still masked and hiding behind toll booth-grade plexiglass. But the rest of the store? Come on in! Sit and and stretch out! Stay all day! Go ahead and take your boots off and dig at your blackened toenails with a Bowie knife, weʼre all friends here!

I should have known it was a bad idea when I opened the door to my apartment and there was a black widow spider standing there. Not a female like we all know from the Batman TV shows. But a male black widow, which is larger, skinnier, and looks like a homeless crab with a hangover.

On the plus side, itʼs hard to get killed by a male black widow unless you disturb its web. Which means I should stop messing about with random spider webs I see on the way to get the mail.

❖ ❖ ❖

On Dean Martin Drive

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 Alive 18,285 days

A newspaper clipping listing locations to get a COVID shot

If you get a COVID shot at a strip club, you might live in Las Vegas.

❖ ❖ ❖

Home brewed coffee is safe coffee

Sunday, May 16th, 2021 Alive 18,282 days

Starbucks in half-cootie mode

Theyʼve taken down the sign at Starbucks requiring everyone to wear a mask, so naturally, none of the customers have a mask. Somehow they assume that the lack of a paper sign means everything is OK.

Clearly, everything is not OK, or the employees wouldnʼt be wearing masks, and there wouldnʼt be plexiglass between the customers and the employees.

❖ ❖ ❖

No more squishy chairs

Sunday, May 16th, 2021 Alive 18,282 days

I went to Starbucks today. I havenʼt been to Starbucks in 18 months. They spelled my name wrong, and screwed up my drink order, so really the only thing thatʼs changed is the furniture.

❖ ❖ ❖

Watch out for Potterʼs asthma

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 Alive 18,277 days

Today I learned that yellow fever used to be called “American plague,” and syphilis was called “French pox.”

Which is not in any way racist, though “China virus” totally is.

❖ ❖ ❖

Cooties everywhere!

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 Alive 18,271 days

Tiffany, Mauricio, and Araceli

Today I went to a work meeting. A mandatory work meeting. During COVID. In a bar.

About half of my co-workers humored me, and kept their masks on when they werenʼt actively eating or drinking. I kept my mask on the whole time, and obsessed about Las Vegasʼ 17% COVID positivity rate.

❖ ❖ ❖

Canʼt argue with that

Sunday, April 4th, 2021 Alive 18,240 days

An explanation of the COVID-19 risk levels in New Mexico

Risk tiers that include the color turquoise are likely to be nonsensical to anyone who does not live in New Mexico.

Albuquerque Journal, March 27, 2021
❖ ❖ ❖

Whole fools

Monday, March 22nd, 2021 Alive 18,227 days

Dear Whole Foods,

450 Americans died of COVID-19 yesterday. Why has my local store stopped requiring people to wear masks?

Itʼs still the law here. Everything is not better. People are still getting sick and dying. What I saw today is not OK.

Please comply with the law.

❖ ❖ ❖

Sir, moo, sir!

Saturday, March 13th, 2021 Alive 18,218 days

Darcie and are both Pfizarians now. I got my first shot a couple of weeks ago when Nevada expanded eligibility to “health care support” people. Darcie got hers a few days ago when it was expanded to “retail workers with prolonged/sustained public contact.”

Iʼd heard lots of nightmare stories from people in other cities about the process being difficult and unpredictable. But for us, it was super fast and easy. I was able to make a same-day appointment. Darcie was able to get in the next day.

That said, the whole scene was like something from a 1970ʼs end-of-the-world movie. Iʼve never seen so many soldiers in my life, and I was in college ROTC. People in FEMA vests were herding everyone around, making sure people got in the right lines. The pedometer in my watch says the line was just under a mile long, but it didnʼt feel awful because, like at Disneyland, they kept it moving to keep anyone from getting antsy. Iʼm not sure it was necessary. Everyone had their faces buried in their phones anyway. I suspect just seeking some kind of comfort under the glare of the arc lights.

The Army, and whatever federal doctors could be rounded up were giving the shots. Darcie got hers from an Army doctor out of D.C. I got mine from a vet in the USDA Foreign Disease Surveillance Service. She said she was ordered to come here two weeks ago. She was vaccinating cows at the time. I asked her if I should moo when she jabs me. She said if I did, she might have to give me a rabies shot, too. So I told her, “You havenʼt met my wife; I might need the rabies shot.” That made the supervising soldier laugh, and broke the tension, which was good because I was pretty freaked out.

❖ ❖ ❖

Not scary at all

Thursday, March 4th, 2021 Alive 18,209 days

Vapor trails from fighter jets over Las Vegas

Sometimes fighter jets from one of the nearby military bases screech overhead and leave contrails over the city.

It's supposed to be a patriotic show of support for first responders and other essential workers. But that only works if you know it's coming ahead of time.

With everything locked down, and sensible people on high alert, it just makes me feel more like my whole world is under attack, with shades of 9/11.

❖ ❖ ❖

Quarrantine your thirst

Thursday, March 4th, 2021 Alive 18,209 days

A row of sleeping vending machines

I understand that most of the planetʼs stores are closed because of COVID. But youʼd think they could at least leave the vending machines on for us. Itʼs not like the cogs and gears are going to get sick.

❖ ❖ ❖

Two kinds of gambling

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 Alive 18,208 days

A COVID occupancy limit sign at Caesars Palace

Having a 25% occupancy cap is not reassuring in any way when that means you still have to share the air with 11,018 other people.

❖ ❖ ❖

Six feet? No problem!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 Alive 18,201 days

At the Hallmark store today there was an announcement reminding customers to stay six feet apart.

When has a Hallmark store ever had enough customers to make this a concern?

❖ ❖ ❖

Friday, February 12th, 2021 Alive 18,189 days

“China flu” — Racist

“U.K. variant” — Somehow not racist

❖ ❖ ❖

Saturday, January 30th, 2021 Alive 18,176 days

When rich California celebrities like Annie Lennox, who can afford to stay the fuck home, get a COVID vaccine shot, they should also be given a piece of paper with the name and photo of the 70-year-old working barrio grandmother whose shot they stole.

❖ ❖ ❖

Weʼre all damaged goods

Thursday, January 21st, 2021 Alive 18,167 days

A friend of mine is mad at me because I wouldn't go have dinner with him when he was in town last week. Too bad, the COVID positivity rate in Vegas is through the roof. Iʼm not going to just hang out in a casino like nothing is wrong.

His entire family had it and recovered, so he thinks it's OK to take everyone to Vegas for his daughter's birthday. In his mind, if he's safe, that's all that matters.

Never mind the maids, bartenders, airline staff, janitors, and everyone else that has to risk their lives so he can have a good time. He should know better, because he's a scientist. Then again, as I've learned getting older, being smart at one thing doesn't make you smart at everything.

I know a doctor in Chicago who thinks drinking his own pee will help him live forever. I know a TV anchor in Phoenix who doesn't believe in dinosaurs. Not as a religious thing. They just don't fit into the way her brain works. My old neighbor is an international airline pilot, and doesn't believe COVID is real.

I guess everyone is crazy in their own way. I wonder what my major malfunction is.

❖ ❖ ❖

Go go Desert Truckster

Thursday, January 14th, 2021 Alive 18,160 days

I drove to the drug store today, and realized that I'm still using the same tank of gas I bought in July. And it's still half full. Itʼs hard to believe I used to drive across the country, bounding through the dunes and mesas and tumbleweeds just a year ago.

❖ ❖ ❖

Monday, January 4th, 2021 Alive 18,150 days

“The store only has red Charmin, and not the blue? Thatʼs OK, Iʼll wait till next time,” said no one after March, 2020.

❖ ❖ ❖

Good choice

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 Alive 18,137 days

Someone doing a survey phoned me today. She asked for my opinion about COVID.

I told her Iʼm against it.

❖ ❖ ❖


Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 Alive 18,109 days

We got a notice from the health department that someone in the apartment complex has COVID, but it canʼt tell us who. The next day there was an article in the newspaper that a bunch of the players for the local NHL team have it, too. Some of the players live in this apartment complex because weʼre next door to the practice arena. Which was shut down because of the ʼrona on the same day as the newspaper article.

It doesnʼt take a rocket surgeon to add 1 and 1 and get eleven.

❖ ❖ ❖

Navajo times

Saturday, November 21st, 2020 Alive 18,106 days

A clipping from the Navajo Times

Saw this graphic in the Navajo Times today. It says not to make a COVID mask out of leather or coffee filters. I had no idea this was a problem.

❖ ❖ ❖

Gamblers all

Saturday, September 12th, 2020 Alive 18,036 days

Las Vegas is a different place since things have opened up a bit. Because the hotel rates have dropped so much, itʼs brought in the worst people. This is something that Darcie has known from day one, but itʼs only hitting the front pages of the local newspapers now.

Rooms that used to be $675 a night are now $100 or less. Itʼs gotten so bad that the head of Wynn Resorts went public saying that her regular customers are afraid to come to Las Vegas now. She says that some who have come to town have been afraid to leave their rooms, and wonʼt ever return.

Itʼs simply unprecedented for the head of a resort company to say anything bad about the industry, or its guests. But things are pretty bad out there now.

I went to the supermarket yesterday. I think itʼs the first time since April.

It looks like theyʼre skipping Halloween this year. There was just one small Halloween display. No aisle dedicated to candy and decorations and such. Pumpkins are only five bucks. I donʼt think Iʼve ever seen a pumpkin for under $15 here. Workers were putting together Thanksgiving and Christmas displays, but those, too, looked small. It seems like the supermarkets are mostly skipping all of the holidays this year.

Maybe because hardly anyone goes to the store anymore. It was almost vacant when I went there on Friday at 6pm. Still, even with no customers, there were still large gaps in the stock. The toilet paper aisle is about ⅓ full, which is an improvement. Still no cleaning supplies, though. Half the deli is empty. No salami or corned beef to be found anywhere, so I had to settle for pastrami. Pasta and soup sections were mostly empty. So were some other sections that I couldnʼt identify because they were not only devoid of product, the store didnʼt even bother to put up price tags.

❖ ❖ ❖

When everything is an emergency, nothing is an emergency

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 Alive 18,025 days

An EAS alert from Clark County, Nevada

How to get people to turn off the emergency alert feature on their phones in two easy steps:

  1. Use the EAS system to tell people to get COVID tests.
  2. There is no step two.
❖ ❖ ❖

Itʼs never too soon anymore

Saturday, August 29th, 2020 Alive 18,022 days

A die-cut skeleton on the balcony door

We decorated for Halloween already this year. Itʼs early, even for us.

Sirius has been playing the occasional Christmas song on the 40ʼs and Sinatra channels, so I think a lot of people would just like to get into a happy place in their minds these days.

So, up went the die cuts, the blow molds, the melty popcorn plastic crinkle characters, and the ceramic jack-o-lanterns. You can see it all very clearly from the other buildings in the apartment complex. I donʼt have the energy to care what the neighbors think.

❖ ❖ ❖

Life > Money

Friday, August 28th, 2020 Alive 18,021 days

Iʼm so tired of hearing people say, “But, what about the economy?” I donʼt care about the economy. I care about my life. I care about my wifeʼs health. It sucks that the organic free-range dog biscuit bakery and yoga mat emporium had to shut down, but there will be other jobs. You only get one life.

❖ ❖ ❖

Weʼre all Hamburglars now

Monday, August 10th, 2020 Alive 18,003 days

It used to be that security wouldnʼt let you into the bank while wearing a mask.

Now, security wonʼt let you in unless youʼre wearing a mask.

❖ ❖ ❖

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 Alive 17,976 days

As of this week, more Americans have died of COVID-19 than died in the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812 combined.

❖ ❖ ❖

Monday, July 13th, 2020 Alive 17,975 days

Some of the recordings on my DVR are so old, the people in the commercials arenʼt wearing masks yet.

❖ ❖ ❖

A one cow town

Friday, July 10th, 2020 Alive 17,972 days

A “Keep one cow apart” sign in the Nevada state capitol

Remember how the Navajo were advised to stay two sheep apart from one another? I guess the Nevada legislature is made up of cowboys, because this sign in the capitol was in todayʼs paper.

❖ ❖ ❖

Baaaaack off

Friday, July 3rd, 2020 Alive 17,965 days

An announcement in the Navajo Times advising people to stay two sheep away from each other

Today I learned that a sheep is three feet long.

❖ ❖ ❖

Saturday, June 27th, 2020 Alive 17,959 days

About the only normal thing these days is the cat. She eats. She poops. She licks herself. All the normal things a cat should do. Sheʼs never been very bright, so she doesnʼt know anything is wrong. The last cat was very empathetic. He knew when something was wrong, and would comfort us. If he heard Darcie cry or yelp or swear, heʼd run to her side. Now she only has me. Itʼs not the same thing.

❖ ❖ ❖

Itʼs not a neck warmer

Saturday, June 20th, 2020 Alive 17,952 days

An employee at The Palm serving customers with a COVID mask around her neck

After seeing how the staff at The Palm wear their masks, Iʼll never eat there again.

Thereʼs a reason that mask-wearing by staff is the law.

❖ ❖ ❖

It takes more than texting

Sunday, June 7th, 2020 Alive 17,939 days

Today I learned that one of my friends applied for food stamps because of the COVID situation. I found out about it from an interview in the New York Times. I think that makes me pretty much the definition of a bad friend.

❖ ❖ ❖

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 Alive 17,928 days

Ever notice that the sort of people who donʼt wear a mask in public are exactly the sort of people who look like they have a history of making poor choices?

❖ ❖ ❖

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 Alive 17,927 days

If I worked for a gambling addiction treatment center, Iʼd set up a table in front of all these casinos that are re-opening to record crowds.

It seems logical that the closer to the front of the line someone is, the more help they need.

❖ ❖ ❖

♫ Brave new world, population one ♫

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020 Alive 17,899 days

Chumbawamba in 2000: “Pass it along by word of mouse: Save yourself, donʼt leave the house.”

The world in 2020: “Okie dokie.”

❖ ❖ ❖

Put it on their bills

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 Alive 17,873 days

Las Vegas locked down is a weird place. With no humans on The Strip, the city is being taken over by waterfowl.

Local media has been showing photos and video of geese and ducks all over the casinos. The theory is that they're attracted by the people-less fountains. Last week, I saw some video of a family of ducks that have made a home in one of the revolving doors of The Bellagio.

❖ ❖ ❖

Too poorly run to fail

Monday, March 16th, 2020 Alive 17,856 days

The big airlines want taxpayers to bail them out because of the impact of COVID-19.

Maybe we should learn a lesson from the big banking bailouts of last decade, and add some conditions to this bailout. Like requiring better service and facilities, instead of just allowing megacorps to blow billions on self-serving stock buybacks.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again.”

— American Airlines C.E.O in 2017
❖ ❖ ❖

Some problems solve themselves

Sunday, March 15th, 2020 Alive 17,855 days

Perhaps all of the troglodytes who think COVID-19 isnʼt a big deal should come together in solidarity. Perhaps in a tightly-packed convention center.

❖ ❖ ❖

Soon youʼll have to hunt for food

Saturday, March 14th, 2020 Alive 17,854 days

Dying of dysentery in The Oregon Trail on an Apple ][

The reason all of the Gen-Xers are loading up on toilet paper is because as children they were scarred by The Oregon Trail.

❖ ❖ ❖

Try a goldendoodle

Friday, March 13th, 2020 Alive 17,853 days

People who donʼt understand stocking up on toilet paper must be people who have never have been stuck inside for a couple of days because of a snowstorm.

Attention, California: You canʼt wipe your butt with your fashion accessory chihuahua.

❖ ❖ ❖

Thursday, March 12th, 2020 Alive 17,852 days

Overheard in Albertsons today: “Maddysyn! If you donʼt behave, Iʼm going to send you to school!”

❖ ❖ ❖


Sunday, March 8th, 2020 Alive 17,848 days

The good thing about the plague is that itʼs made things quiet again.

When I first moved to this block, almost all of the homes were military households; mostly Air Force and Nevada National Security Site people (mathematicians, nuclear physicists). Couples, no kids. It was always so silent around here, and I would sit on my bench on the front stoop and read my newspapers in peace.

Then last year all of the military households were relocated en masse. New people moved in. An architect family. A massage therapist family. A guy running some kind of fleaBay business out of his garage. A family from New York via Malawi, Frankfurt, and Copenhagen. Ordinary people and many many kids.

As recently as last weekend, the block was alive after 3pm and on weekends. The guy tinkering on his car. The knot of ladies and their fashion accessory dogs. The guy flying model airplanes and home-made drones at the end of the street. Mexican polka music wafting through the palm trees. And about 20 children running, jumping, throwing things, and playing at murdering one another. Noise. Noise Noise.

Now everyone is afraid to go outside. The block is silent. Once again, the block belongs to me, my newspapers, and my coffee.

❖ ❖ ❖